Benefits of Undertaking MAPP
Below are just some of the benefits to be derived from the MAPP process.
Create a healthy community and a better quality of life. The ultimate goal of MAPP is optimal community health—a community where residents are healthy, safe and have a high quality of life. Here, a "healthy community" goes beyond physical health alone. According to the World Health Organization, "Health is a dynamic state of complete physical, mental, spiritual and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity" (101st Session of the WHO Executive Board, Geneva, January 1998, Resolution EB101.R2). The Institute of Medicine echoes this definition and notes that "health is…a positive concept emphasizing social and personal resources as well as physical capabilities." (Improving Health in the Community, 1997, p. 41).
Increase the visibility of public health within the community. By implementing a participatory and highly publicized process, increased awareness and knowledge of public health issues and greater appreciation for the local public health system as a whole may be achieved.
Anticipate and manage change. Community strategic planning better prepares local public health systems to anticipate, manage and respond to changes in the environment.
Create a stronger public health infrastructure. The diverse network of partners within the local public health system is strengthened through the implementation of MAPP. This leads to better coordination of services and resources, a higher appreciation and awareness among partners and less duplication of services.
Engage the community and create community ownership for public health issues. Through participation in the MAPP process, community residents may gain a better awareness of the area in which they live and their own potential for improving their quality of life. Community-driven processes also lead to collective thinking and a sense of community ownership in initiatives, and, ultimately, may produce more innovative, effective and sustainable solutions to complex problems. Community participation in the MAPP process may augment community involvement in other initiatives and/or have long-lasting effects on creating a stronger community spirit.
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